Born on 26th May 1895 at Clapton, son of Samuel James (L.C.C. School Teacher) and Elizabeth Annie Cross. Baptised on 1st September 1895 at All Saints Church Clapton. 1901: With his family at 1 Tower Villas, Cowslip Road, South Woodford. In 1904 following the death of his mother, his father remarried to Grace Vernon Radford. 1911: A Scholar with his family at 30 Pulteney Road, South Woodford.
He enlisted at the 1st Battalion London Regiment at their Headquarters in Handel Street Bloomsbury, and arrived in France on 23th March 1916.
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette from 15/22 September 1916 was part of the Battle of the Somme, intended to breach German lines and to allow Cavalry to advance into the country beyond. To help achieve this, nearly 50 tanks were also used, but to minimal effect. The right flank of the attack where this breakthrough was planned was held up by the “Quadrilateral” a redoubt and trench system to the east of Ginchy.
The pre attack artillery bombardment here did not destroy the German wire defences, which survived intact enough to stop the advancing British troops and brought heavy casualties. 1 London was engaged at this location with 167 Brigade, and Samuel Cross was among those Killed in Action.
Though some ground was captured during the attack, it failed to bring the anticipated breakthrough.
Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian